2017 Colorado SBA InnovateHER Winner: Sara Davenport

Sara Davenport

Sara Davenport had heard “it’s cancer” not once, but twice, before her 40th birthday, having been diagnosed, treated and then survived both Metastatic Thyroid and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma cancers. 

After hearing news of her second remission, she moved to Colorado to be closer to family. Davenport viewed the fresh start in Colorado as an opportunity to realign her career with her passion and background in nutrition and wellness.  Although she said she wasn’t immediately ready to start a business at the time, a conversation with friends provided her with the idea of launching one.

Two of her female friends shared about the type of support they and their families received from doulas during their pregnancies. Davenport remembered being really interested in the role of the doula. She asked lots of questions about the services they offered and about “birthing” plans. Davenport wished she had received some sort of similar support in helping her deal with varied impacts and outcomes resulting from cancer.  Most of the resources, books, etc., she found did not resonate with her as a young, professional woman experiencing cancer.

Her idea for the business began to take root, based on her experience as a weekly volunteer through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and at the Cancer Resource Center at Presbyterian St. Luke in Denver, CO. Davenport heard a few statistics that made her realize that more women will also hear the words “it’s cancer.” And yet, most patient care services in the region focus on providing support for elder individuals.  In her business plan, Davenport cites the following two statistics: · The American Cancer Society estimates 24,330 new cases in Colorado alone in 2017; half of these will be women. 

· The American Cancer Society also states the probability of developing an invasive cancer from birth to death in women is 1 in 3.

Determined to assist other women through their journey of surviving cancer, Davenport has recently launched her small business, Life in Sessions. Beyond drawing from her personal experiences as a cancer survivor, her business also draws upon her strengths as both a Certified Health Coach and trained chef. This allows for a unique set of skillsets and personal experiences that can be tailored to provide individual services for each of her patients.  

Life in Session’s services focus on working with the individual to create a tailored healing plan that helps them prepare for and walk through the informational, emotional and logistical side of having cancer. The health plan can touch on all the non-medical aspects of life someone may experience when being treated for cancer – from “the business side” of insurance, doctor bills, disability; to arranging transportation to or having someone to attend doctors’ appointments and chemo treatments; to offering in-home caregiving support and nutritional meal planning; to offering support and guidance to the patient’s caregivers, etc.  Life in Session also offers a care package individuals can purchase for a loved one that includes three phone or online sessions with Davenport and a travel bag full of items for patients to take to chemotherapy appointments.

After recently launching her business, Davenport applied for SBA’s InnovateHER Business Challenge, a nationwide competition that highlights innovative products, services or technology developed by visionary entrepreneurs that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, and in the marketplace. In Colorado, the state competition was hosted by SCAPE (SW Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs) based in Durango, CO, where a panel of financial experts, angel investors, the SouthWest SBDC and SCAPE staff reviewed all of application packages. The panel selected Sara Davenport’s business, Life in Session, as the state winner, citing the strength of her market analysis and detailed business plan.  

The SBA Colorado District Office congratulates Sara Davenport and her business, Life in Session, as the 2017 Colorado winner of the SBA InnovateHER Challenge competition.